Parents can teach a child number recognition before she even enters kindergarten by using several hands-on activities. The goal is to turn each lesson into a game, enabling the child to learn in a fun, informal manner. Children learn best through play, so it's important that parents seek interesting activities to help children learn to recognize numbers.
One way to teach a child to recognize numbers is to use non-toxic modeling clay. Each week, parents can introduce a new number to the child. They show the child how to form the number by molding it from clay. This is a tactile lesson that will pave the way for them to write them in the future.
Parents can also devise file folder games to teach a child number recognition. School teachers have long used such games to teach and reinforce basic skills to their students. Making a game is a relatively simple task, and a parent only needs to procure a basic Manila folder. The parent then draws pictures that represent a certain amount.
For example, a parent can draw one triangle, two circles, three rectangles, four hearts, and other pictures representing numbers. Next, she can apply hook and loop fasteners beneath each picture, and then make miniature cards with a number written on each one. Then, she can apply the other side of the fastener on the back of each number card.
To play the game, the parent helps the child count a group of pictures. If there are three objects, the parent helps the child select the card with the number three written on it. The child then sticks the card beneath the appropriate picture. Most children love to play matching games, so they will often enjoy learning numbers in this way.
Children learn best when they are actively engaged. An excellent way to get them involved with learning is to provide them with a lesson involving physical activity. A parent can write the numbers one through ten on ten pieces of construction paper.
Next, she laminates the papers and tapes them in random order on the floor. The parent then tells the child to hop on a number. Once the child chooses a number on which to hop, the parent tells the child the name of the number she is standing on. When the child is familiar with the numbers one through ten, the parent calls out a specific number and the child jumps on the correct card.
Children often love to create art, so incorporating craft projects is another useful way to teach a child numbers. Simple art projects can be used to help reinforce these concepts, and a parent can take a piece of construction paper and write the number that the child needs to learn on it. The child is provided with old buttons, macaroni, or any other decorative objects. Next, the parent tells the child the name of the number and asks the child to glue the items on top of the outline of the number. After the artwork is dry, the child can practice tracing the number with her finger, which allows her to memorize how each number is written.
Learning number recognition prepares children for future math concepts like addition and subtraction. This important skill can be learned long before a child begins kindergarten. If a parent creates interactive lessons that allow children to move, create, and play, she can help her child gain a firm foundation on which other skills can be built.